YCIS Early Childhood Education Grandparents’ Workshop
At YCIS the early childhood education section (ECE) cherish the home-school partnership to enrich the young child’s learning and development journey. Not only do we organise many parent workshops but also one for care-givers and grandparents. We are lucky to have a strong support network with our little students’ grandparents living in Hong Kong. We value their inclusion in their grandchild’s path. YCIS ECE is a play-based and child-led bilingual environment.
“Safety and Play” was the theme for the recent grandparents’ workshop on 7 December.
The concept of play – widely seen as the preferred activity or “work” of childhood, was shared with the attendees. They watched a mini video explaining how highly regarded research into “play” gives the best indicators to teachers.
The attending grandparents at the YCIS kindergarten workshop then divided to small groups to pursue discussions. Stimulated by real case examples such as:
- Play conflicts
- Jumping from a height
- Throwing toys and objects
- Using safety scissors
- Putting small objects in their nose or mouth
One example discussed was their observations of a child’s jumping situation in a photograph, their first impressions and whether there was an aspect of safety and concern. This led to a discussion about at which point does an adult intervene with a situation. How far does the adult come forward or stand back, potentially waiting for something to happen?
The use of scissors with children, for example, how much to support, how much to allow them to begin to confidently use the tool. It could be beneficial to compare safety scissors and normal scissors with the young child and explain the differences.
The child’s putting small objects in their mouth was also a platform for discussion. The sensory development of smell, taste, touch can frequently see children placing things in their mouths – so how can we encourage this key development within safe parameters? One suggestion was placing interesting objects within clean thin stockings so that they feel and exploration can continue.
Key spoken phrases used by teachers at school were shared with the grandparents to enable them to continue the same messages in the child’s life, giving alternative positive options. We value the same language and messages being shared at home and school for consistency.
The book “It’s OK NOT to Share” by Heather Shumaker recently featured in a professional development reading group with YCIS teachers. The grandparents gained more insight into the child’s aspect and reasoning which is part of the YCIS philosophy.